The right-of-centre VVD party is offering to exhibit the work of cartoonist Gergorius Nekschot in its parliamentary quarters in The Hague. The party wants to make a stand for free speech.

Nekschot (a pseudonym) was recently arrested and questioned about the alleged racist nature of his cartoons.
Some of the cartoons in question were recently re-published. They were ugly and insulting: one showed a fat Muslim riding on the back of the welfare state.
One wonders if the VVD would come to the rescue of a Muslim cartoonist in the Netherlands portraying Dutch politicians as fat parasites feeding on populist anti-Muslim sentiment?
And what would their reaction have been if Nekschot had substituted Jews for Muslims in his cartoons?
Who is going to see the VVD exhibition, anyway? The parliament building is more like a fort than an art gallery. The main beneficiaries of this gesture will be VVD politicians and the cleaners of the parliamentary chambers (some of whom may be Muslim).
It’s all too pathetic for words. If Nekschot has broken the law then he should be punished. If not, then let him continue. His heavy-handed arrest by the police was unnecessary and has made him a martyr.
And as for the ridiculous nature of VVD’s gallery for free speech….now that would make a good cartoon.

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